Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
If you’ve driven through the intersection of East Central Avenue/1st St. SE, hopefully you’ve noticed some new white pavement markings.
The new painted bump-outs are designed to draw attention to pedestrians and protect them from vehicles, according to Traffic Engineer Stephen Joersz.
“This area has seen a major increase in pedestrian traffic in recent years. There’s also been some chronic parking issues here, with vehicles being parked in the crosswalks, and that can hide pedestrians from traffic,” Joersz said. “We wanted to find a low-cost, hopefully high-impact way to protect pedestrians.”
The white pavement markings were recently installed, although two sections were delayed for a short time because of vehicles that were illegally parked.
Pedestrian safety is at the heart of this feature. It’s sort of the same concept as the physical bump-outs that exist in other locations downtown. The goal is to reduce the amount of conflicted roadway that a pedestrian had to cross.
“This is designed to be a visual cue to drivers and we hope this acts as a visual deterrence rather than a physical barrier,” Joersz said. “We’re trying to draw attention to these areas to protect pedestrians, so we want this painted bump-out to have a calming effect on traffic.”
The overall width of the roadway has not changed, nor has the width of the driving lanes. No legal parking spaces have been eliminated, and no signage has been changed.
“We did get rid of some spots where people shouldn’t have been parking anyway, like on the actual crosswalks,” Joersz said.